map of md with sunRooftop Solar Adoption is growing in Maryland. Since the State of Maryland passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Solar Renewable Energy Credit legislation in 2012, solar power throughout the state is growing by leaps and bounds. According to Environment Maryland, in just three years (2010 – 2013) residents of the state increased usages of solar PV capacity by 152%.

More Accessibility – The Baltimore Sun observes that the since the 2012 legislation, it’s single family home owners who have been taking advantage of solar powered living, since they are most likely to be able to afford the up-front installation costs, plus the sloped roofs of their houses are ideal for solar panel installation. The newspaper goes on to say that with additional legislation passed in 2015, more Marylanders were included in the list of residents who can access energy savings through co-op solar power – a way of saving money and energy for those who rent, as well as a way of saving money for apartment building owners dealing with flat roofs that usually just bake in the sun.

An article by Sun reporter Carrie Wells illustrates how alternative green energy is reshaping the utility expenses of urban residents, especially in Southeast Baltimore. Experts applaud these efforts, pointing to better savings for lower-income renters, and allowing people of every economic stratum to contribute to energy conservation. Additionally, jobs are created with the boosted demand for solar panel installations.

Solar Sells Better – If more and better access to renewable solar energy wasn’t enough of a bonus, let’s turn back to one of the benefits the single-family homeowner reaps by installing solar panels. Last year, Scientific American reported on a study by the US Department of Energy that indicates houses with solar panels sell for about $15,000 more than those without solar panels. The study collected and analyzed data on over 20,000 houses in eight US states, including Maryland from 2002 to 2012.

Essentially, this means that the money the homeowner pays to upgrade the energy efficiency of the house works for them in two ways. The money spent on solar panels starts generating cost savings every month with lower utility bills. The total savings on energy costs depends on the length of time the investing homeowner stays in the house. The longer they stay, the better the amortized cost of the initial investment in the solar panels. However, the US Energy report reflects the fact that even if the investing homeowner only stays in place for a few years, the cost of adding solar panels is recaptured in the resale value of the home.

Reliability is Key – For homeowners – looking to have solar panels installed, the general guidelines of hiring any reliable contractor apply. First, consider the factors you believe are the most important. Cost, of course, but also, think about the installer’s years in business, overall experience and general knowledge. Is solar panel installation their focus or do they work on other home/building renovations as well? Are they based in Maryland or are they a national firm? Do they guarantee their work? How would they respond to a complaint – quickly? At all? Check with on-line resources such as Angie’s List, as well as neighbors or friends who have worked with an installer to find the company you want to work with.

Written by Uma Campell, Freelance Journalist and writer. To see more articles by Ms. Campbell, go to https://umajcampbell.wordpress.com/

Uma Campbell
Uma Campbell